Why the UDL Gears were created and how to use them
Universal Design for Learning is a framework that is discussed around the world. Because the framework has so much information in it, it can be misunderstood and misinterpreted. Unfortunately, this means the depth of its potential impact can be lost. To solve this, The UDL Gears were designed to clarify the recognized mindset, skills, and practices to fully apply the UDL framework.
In the graphic, each idea is a cog on the edge of the gear. This is to give life to the interactions necessary between the mindset, skills, practices and the UDL Guidelines. In a machine, if a cog on the side of a gear is missing, the machine still works but it is not as effective. The same is true with UDL. All of these items are interconnected.
The UDL Gears are based on literature (research, books, and gray) from around the world and purposefully use language that can be understood and applied across languages and cultures.
There are several ways this information can be used by individuals and organizations (e.g., school districts, state departments of education, universities/university programs, funders, foundations, training organizations, or any other organization interested in UDL):
Individuals and organizations can use this information to discover their alignment with UDL.
Individuals and organizations can use the information as a roadmap toward stronger UDL alignment.
Individuals can expand their understanding of the UDL framework and understand that there is more to UDL than the UDL Guidelines.
Individuals can reflect on their own mindset, skills, and practices to discover areas of growth and alignment.
Organizations can examine the collective mindset they assert and how their actions support the skills and practices that align with UDL. From there, they can determine steps they should take to shift mindsets or build skills and practices.
Please cite as
Nelson, L. L. (2023, May 24). The UDL Gears. https://theudlapproach.com/theudlgears